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Map of reported Asian giant hornet sightings received by WSDA as of May 29, 2020. Source: WSDA

Dozens of Asian giant hornet sightings in NW Washington state – 3 confirmed

Since Asian giant hornets were spotted late last year in British Columbia and in the Blaine area, the Washington State Department of Agriculture has developed a system for reporting sightings.

As shown on the above WSDA map, there have been dozens of sightings reported to WSDA to date with 3 confirmed, including 1 this year.

Many sightings are accompanied with photos and descriptions of observed behavior. From those observations and photos, WSDA entomologists have been able to determine many sightings were of other species. Often reports are of native wasps which they point out can look very similar to the Asian giant hornet.

Source: Washington State Department of Agriculture

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WSDA has provided the following information to aid in identifying Asian giant hornets.

  • Usually 1.5 to 2 inches in length
  • Large orange/yellow head with prominent eyes
  • Black and yellow striped abdomen
  • Forms large colonies that usually nest in the ground
Asian giant hornet. Source: WSDA
Asian giant hornet. Source: Washington State Department of Agriculture

WSDA officials say queens usually emerge early in the spring to establish new colonies. Workers then emerge beginning early summer.

Citizens with suspected sightings or evidence of bee hive attacks are asked to submit a report using the Hornet Watch Report Form or by email to or by calling WSDA at (800) 443-6684.

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WSDA has provided the following additional resources regarding the Asian giant hornet. 

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